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IL – SELF-PROTECTION – Faced with rising crime and social upheaval, more Black Chicagoans are seeking out firearms for their own protection

Moments after firing a gun for the first time, Alicea Burton proudly displayed the result of her marksmanship: a human silhouette target perforated with more than two dozen 9 mm holes.

“It was easier than I thought,” the 30-year-old from Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood said after emerging from an Oak Forest gun range. “The sound of the bullets did throw me off, but after a while it just became normal so it didn’t scare me.”

Burton, who was pursuing a concealed carry license, is among a surge of African Americans who are taking a new interest in firearms.

A gun industry survey taken in 2020 — a record year for sales — noted that Black customers accounted for the largest increase of any racial group. A Northwestern University study found that while white people bought more firearms overall last year, African Americans made up a disproportionate number of first-time gun buyers.  [full article]


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